Open Books

  • African American History
    This open textbook gives an overview of African American history from African origins and the transatlantic slave trade to the contemporary Black Lives Matter movement.
  • The American LGBTQ Rights Movement: An Introduction
    The American LGBTQ Rights Movement: An Introduction is a peer-reviewed chronological survey of the LGBTQ fight for equal rights from the turn of the 20th century to the early 21st century. Illustrated with historical photographs, the book beautifully reveals the heroic people and key events that shaped the American LGBTQ rights movement. The book includes personal narratives to capture the lived experience from each era, as well as details of essential organizations, texts, and court cases that defined LGBTQ activism and advocacy.”
  • The American Yawp: A Massively Collaborative Open U.S. History Textbook
    This “free and online, collaboratively built, open American history textbook designed for college-level history courses” authored by college-level instructors includes text, documents, media, and primary source guides.
  • History in the Making: A History of the People of the United States of America to 1877
    “This textbook examines U.S. History from before European Contact through Reconstruction, while focusing on the people and their history.”
  • Spectacles in the Roman World: A Sourcebook
    “This is a collection of primary sources on Roman games and spectacles in their various forms, created for a second-year undergraduate class on spectacles in Greece and Rome at the University of British Columbia. This book is intended for use in upper-level academic studies. Content Warning: The content of this book contains animal cruelty and animal death, blood, classism, death, sexual assault, violence, and other mature subject matter and potentially distressing material.”
  • Voices of Virginia: An Auditory Primary Source Reader
    “Voices of Virginia pulls together stories from oral history collections from across decades and archives to create an all-audio source […] The ‘album’ is only two hours long, but contains dozens of short oral histories from eyewitnesses to key moments in American history, from the end of the Civil War to the 1980s.” While this resource focuses on Virginia, stories from eyewitnesses to the Jim Crow Era, World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II could provide richness to courses in American history outside of the state.
  • World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500
    World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 offers a comprehensive introduction to the history of humankind from prehistory to 1500. […] It covers such cultures, states, and societies as Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Israel, Dynastic Egypt, India’s Classical Age, the Dynasties of China, Archaic Greece, the Roman Empire, Islam, Medieval Africa, the Americas, and the Khanates of Central Asia. It includes 350 high-quality images and maps, chronologies, and learning questions to help guide student learning.”
  • World History, Volume 2: from 1400 (OpenStax)
    “Suitable for both majors and non-majors World History, Volume 2: from 1400 introduces students to a global perspective of history couched in an engaging narrative. Concepts and assessments help students think critically about the issues they encounter so they can broaden their perspective of global history. A special effort has been made to introduce and juxtapose people’s experiences of history for a rich and nuanced discussion. Primary source material represents the cultures being discussed from a firsthand perspective whenever possible. World History, Volume 2: from 1400 also includes the work of diverse and underrepresented scholars to ensure a full range of perspectives.”

Open Courses

  • African American History: From Emancipation to the Present (2010) (Open Yale)
    “The purpose of this course is to examine the African American experience in the United States from 1863 to the present” with a focus on “the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction; African Americans’ urbanization experiences; the development of the modern civil rights movement and its aftermath; and the thought and leadership of Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X.”
  • Undergraduate History Courses (MIT OpenCourseWare)
  • History (Open Yale)
    These resources include syllabi and video lectures.

Additional Open and Zero-Cost Resources

  • Art History (Khan Academy)
    This online art history course ranges from prehistoric to contemporary art.
  • The Avalon Project – Major Document Collections
    Maintained by the Lillian Goldman Law Library at the Yale Law School, the Avalon Project posts “digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government.”
  • DocsTeach (National Archives)
    This resource from the National Archives includes primary sources, document-based activities, and online tools for creating activities.
  • Equality Archive
    “Equality Archive is a reliable source for the history of sex and gender equality in the United States. It is a theater for history and social justice with the goal to provide a forum for curious people.” All original content is licensed CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.
  • Library of Congress Digital Collections
    Use filters in the left vertical menu to browse or search for collections related to topics in history.
  • Perseus Digital Library (Tufts)
    The “flagship collection” at this digital library “covers the history, literature and culture of the Greco-Roman world”; other collections cover other subjects in the humanities, such as Italian poetry in Latin, literature of the English Renaissance, and nineteenth-century U.S. history, among others.
  • Teaching Materials from the Zinn Education Project
    This site provides a variety of resources from a “people’s history” perspective, including PDFs of teaching activities that are free to download but require registration (also no-cost) on the website. Please note these teaching materials are NOT openly licensed.
  • TED-Ed History
    Materials available at the TED-Ed platform, including animations and video-based lessons, are freely accessible, but not openly licensed.
  • U.S. History (Khan Academy)
    This course provides a brief introduction to U.S. history.